Waltja’s origins were in Central Australian Family Resource Centre (FRC). In 1991 the (then) Commonwealth Department of Health, Housing and Community Services called for expressions of interest in the creation of Family Resource Centres across Australia as part of its national Family Strategy.
The National Family Resource Centre Program provided funding to organisations assisting families in the areas of advocacy, development of family services, information provision, education and training and needs identification.
The Commonwealth and Territory Governments identified Central Australia, particularly the then ATSIC wards Papunya, Impijara and Arltarlpilta, as a high need area for a Family Resource Centre.
The Central Australian Family Resource Centre program was granted an operational budget and formally commenced operations in 1993. Over the next four years, the FRC built a solid reputation as an advocate for women and families on remote communities. Its membership grew to reflect its remote community focus and strong relationships were formed with women’s and family organisations “out bush”.
However funding for the National Family Resource Centre Program was withdrawn by the Commonwealth in 1997 and re-allocated to youth service organisations. This effectively stripped the FRC of its operational funding. The FRC members and constituents were unhappy with this outcome and decided that they wanted to pursue other avenues to retain the services provided by the FRC and continue its work on remote families.
FRC members took the decision to incorporate as an Aboriginal Association. In October 1997, Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Association was registered and a new constitution was adopted.